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Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon signs memorandum of cooperation with Ghanian companies on first stop of business development trip to sub-Saharan Africa


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

USA - Marianna Ohe, Ex-Im Bank, Washington, D.C.: 202-565-3200, Ghana - Andrea Meyer, U.S. Embassy, Accra: 233-21-229-179

Accra, Ghana: James A. Harmon, Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with five Ghanaian companies, a U.S. lender, and its Ghanaian financial advisor that pledges these parties to working together to optimize trade opportunities for U.S. exporters and their Ghanaian buyers. Under the MOC, Ex-Im Bank will expand its support to the Ghanian private sector and U.S. companies seeking to export to Ghana.

The signers included five private Ghanaian companies that have recently purchased U.S. goods with the assistance of Ex-Im Bank financing: Expandable Polystyrene Products Ltd., Cashew and Spices Products Ltd. (Cashpro), Bibiani Logging and Lumber, Eldin Salt Mill, and Landmark Green. First International Bank of Hartford, CT, an active lender in Ex-Im Bank`s Africa Initiative, and its financial advisor in Ghana, Network Financial Services, also signed the agreement.

Ex-Im Bank has seen an 11-fold increase in our financing to sub-Saharan Africa this past year, and we have enjoyed much of this success in Ghana. In fiscal year 1999, we approved more than $145 million in financing to help U.S. exporters -- large and small businesses -- to make important sales to this growing market. We hope that this agreement will further encourage trade between our countries, Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon said.

Harmon is on a 12-day business development mission to four sub-Saharan African countries -- Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Mozambique -- from October 16 through October 28, 1999.

Among recent Ghana transactions, Ex-Im Bank authorized medium-term loan guarantees and export credit insurance to help U.S. companies in five separate sales to export nearly $3.2 million of U.S.- manufactured packaging equipment, drilling and milling machinery, audio recording equipment, trucks and buses to Ghana.

The five recent transactions:

  • Kingdom Transport Services Ltd. of Accra, Ghana -- a busing contractor that transports workers to and from work for large corporations -- is buying 14 buses from Blue Bird Corporation of Macon, Ga., for $1.07 million, with the help of an Ex-Im Bank medium-term, single-sale, single-shipment insurance policy. The insured is HSBC Equator Bank plc of London, England, which is financing the purchase. This transaction utilizes an innovative approach under which the assignments of Kingdom Transport Services` contracts are deposited in an escrow account.
  • Amponserisco Enterprises Ltd. of Kumasi, Ghana, is buying $586,000 of drilling and milling tools and machinery from Alltech Machinery Inc. of Rutherford, NJ, and Elumatec USA Inc. of South Bend, IN, with the support of an Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed, $529,000 medium-term loan from First International Bank in Hartford, CT. Both U.S. companies are small businesses. Amponserisco will use the equipment to upgrade plants that manufacture aluminum-framed windows and doors.
  • Direct Art Industries of North Kaneshie, Ghana, is buying two blown film extrusion production lines from Davis-Standard Corporation of Pawcatuck, CT, to upgrade its plastic bag production, with a $543,000 medium-term loan, backed by an Ex-Im Bank guarantee, from First International Bank in Hartford.
  • Vehrad Trading Company, Ltd. of Accra, Ghana, is buying five Volvo trucks with repair parts totaling more than $500,000 from Volvo Trucks North America of Greensboro, NC, to meet the growing demand to transport goods within Ghana and to neighboring countries. The purchase is being financed with a $451,000 medium-term loan, backed by an Ex-Im Bank guarantee, from First International Bank in Hartford.
  • Dan K. Media Ventures of Kumasi, Ghana, a recording company, is using Ex-Im Bank`s medium-term, single-sale, single-shipment insurance to buy $420,000 of audio recording equipment from Versadyne International of Campbell, CA, through the exporter, James D. Steele/DBA/Steele Meat Distributing of Farmington, AR. The U.S. supplier and exporter are small businesses. Dan K. Media will use the equipment to modernize its operations.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to developing markets around the world, through export credit insurance, working capital loan guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank authorized $13 billion in financing to support more than $16 billion of U.S. exports. Ex-Im Bank approved nearly $548 million for U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa in fiscal year 1999 -- an 11-fold increase over the previous fiscal year.